Physiology of the visual system

Ian P. Howard

in Perceiving in Depth

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199764143
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949359 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Psychology Series

Physiology of the visual system

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The physiology of the mammalian visual system is reviewed, with an emphasis on mechanisms related to the perception of depth in monkeys and humans. The structure and functions of the eye, the visual pathways, and the lateral geniculate nucleus are described. An account of neurophysiological procedures used in the study of the brain is followed by an account of the organization of areas of the brain serving visual depth perception. The account starts in the primary visual cortex and progresses through the many in-parallel and in-series visual areas. The description of visual areas is followed by an account of our knowledge of the functions they serve. Special attention is devoted to the columnar organization of the visual cortex, especially to columns related to the perception of depth. The chapter ends with a discussion of the physiology of attention.

Keywords: visual physiology; visual pathways; visual cortex; visual areas; physiology of attention

Chapter.  77743 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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